Federal Court Issues Order Stopping USDA from Denying Emergency SNAP Benefits to the Poorest Pennsylvanians

A federal court issued a preliminary injunction today, ruling that more than 700,000 of the poorest Pennsylvanians may be entitled to receive additional food benefits due to the difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic, while a class action lawsuit against the United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) brought by CLS and law firm Morgan Lewis…

Immediate Actions Pennsylvania Must Take to Address the COVID-19 Crisis in Long-Term Care Facilities

The COVID-19 pandemic has had drastic and tragic effects on Pennsylvania’s long-term care facility residents and the staff who care for them. More than 4,700 long-term care (LTC) residents have died from COVID-19, accounting for 68% of all deaths in Pennsylvania.  Immediate action must be taken to improve outcomes for this vulnerable population and to ensure their rights.  It is vital that LTC residents and their advocates have…

CLS and Morgan Lewis File Lawsuit Challenging Denial of Emergency SNAP Benefits for the Poorest Pennsylvanians

On July 16, 2020, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia(“CLS”) and Morgan Lewis filed a class action lawsuit against The United States Department of Agriculture (“USDA”) on behalf of Pennsylvanians denied emergency food assistance during the COVID-19 crisis. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (“FFCRA”) included a provision providing for emergency additional SNAP (food stamp) benefits so that low income families could have access to food during the pandemic. Nearly 40% of Pennsylvania SNAP households, including many…

Speak Up for Home Heating Assistance in Pennsylvania!

The Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP) provides one-time grants to help families afford their heating costs. Within the past year, LIHEAP has helped more than 310,000 Pennsylvanians pay their heating bills, restore their heating service, or prevent their heating service from being shut off. LIHEAP has helped families with seniors, young children, or people…

PA General Assembly Enacts Bipartisan Economic Recovery Bill, Removing Criminal Record Barriers to Occupational Licensing

On June 24 2020, the General Assembly enacted Senate Bill 637 (DiSanto, R-Dauphin/Perry and Schwank, D-Berks), which reforms occupational licensing by getting rid of outdated criminal record restrictions for the professions and occupations which are regulated by boards and commissions within the Bureau of Professional and Occupational Affairs (BPOA).   Prior state law perpetuated racial…